Is prior DSLR ownership needed to appreciate a NEX?

Started Dec 5, 2012 | Discussions
Larry251 Contributing Member • Posts: 632
Is prior DSLR ownership needed to appreciate a NEX?
3

Just some random musings 

It seems many of those who really love their NEX cameras come from a background where they used a DSLR first (or still have one) and appreciate the freedom a smaller camera with a large sensor gives them.  I have seen posts from many people (myself included) who come to  the NEX as an upgrade from a point and shoot who ask either before or after purchase whether a DSLR would be (or might have been) a wiser upgrade path.  Sometimes there is also a certain amount of initial disappointment with a purchase despite a big potential difference in image quality from the point and shoot.

Do you think to fully appreciate the NEX (or another mirrorless camera for that matter) one really needs to use a DSLR first?

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D Cox Forum Pro • Posts: 21,558
Re: Is prior DSLR ownership needed to appreciate a NEX?

No.

I have never used a DSLR. Their bloated sizes are absurd.

But I have used many different film SLRs. The NEX is better.

EffWonPointToo
EffWonPointToo Regular Member • Posts: 135
Re: Is prior DSLR ownership needed to appreciate a NEX?

no, but the higher up the nex line you go the more you will get out of having the knowledge of how to use the manual controls of the camera.

that is to say - the nex cameras work fine on P or intelligent auto or whatever, but the more manual control you use the more creativity you can impart to your work. this skill/knowledge is something people familiar with DSLRs should have more of than people coming to the nex from p&s cameras, but a basic knowledge of ISO/aperture/shutter speed isn't hard to teach yourself if you don't have it already.

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Jefenator
Jefenator Senior Member • Posts: 2,855
Re: Is prior DSLR ownership needed to appreciate a NEX?

The EVF (which actually is BIGGER) and the facility for working with manual prime lenses are both a huge deal for me. Oh, and the sensor, with its monster resolution, dynamic range and crispness at the pixel level. I would have welcomed those things with open arms at any form point - was just a bonus that the N7 happened to be sized like the Leica I'd always wanted.

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Philip Corlis Contributing Member • Posts: 903
Re: Is prior DSLR ownership needed to appreciate a NEX?

Yes - Previously owning a film SLR or DSLR helps one really appreciate the beauty of such a powerful camera in such a small package. On another note - I think one of the things that makes this forum interesting is the confluence of people moving up from smaller more automated cameras and people moving down from the bulkier DSLR market place. No insult is intended - but I see many lively discussions between users with vastly different pervious experiences behind the camera.

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edwardaneal
edwardaneal Veteran Member • Posts: 9,101
not necessarily
1

I do think it helps if you have used a camera with full manual control and have learned to appreciate having knowledge of selecting the aperture and shutter speed and understand their relationship on exposure and DOF. I also thinks if they have prior knowledge of ISO and other aspects of exposure.

it seems to me the people here that come from P&S cameras who start posts questioning their decision to get a NEX camera are almost always those people who always shoot in the fully automatic modes and wanting straight out of the camera JPEG.s they are shooting in bright light at f/8 or higher and they dont understand why they dont see a huge difference from what they got with their P&S, or they are shooting at wide apertures and they cant figure why everything in the frame isnt sharp like it was with their P&S

The only reason why this is less of an issue with former DSLR owners is because most of them have already learned about these things

JMO

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Alphamale77 Regular Member • Posts: 240
Re: Is prior DSLR ownership needed to appreciate a NEX?

Larry251 wrote:

Just some random musings

It seems many of those who really love their NEX cameras come from a background where they used a DSLR first (or still have one) and appreciate the freedom a smaller camera with a large sensor gives them. I have seen posts from many people (myself included) who come to the NEX as an upgrade from a point and shoot who ask either before or after purchase whether a DSLR would be (or might have been) a wiser upgrade path. Sometimes there is also a certain amount of initial disappointment with a purchase despite a big potential difference in image quality from the point and shoot.

Do you think to fully appreciate the NEX (or another mirrorless camera for that matter) one really needs to use a DSLR first?

Yes for myself,

the DSLR or SLR experience let you truly appreciate what the nex system can achieve. The bigger bodies had more buttons for direct access vs digging menus on nex5R and lower, if one had sometime to establish his/her shooting routine, and knows how to achieve the result he/she want, then jumping over to nex would be an ease.

In comparison coming from p&s i can imagine people starting with green auto, and find no difference, limited zoom, not enough saturation, contrast etc, since the last and current gen of p&s are really impressive in offering mid size landscape shots that's sharp. Then they might move on to P,a,s and will most likely never touch wb adjustment or micro adjust the creative profiles, not to mention creating a raw developing presets.

after dslr you learn to produce sharp images with large aperature and longer exposure, shallow dof, (most people just want family group pics and tourist landscape shots coming from p&s) and that's the real advantage of the nex system, an equal answer for the need of dslr shooter to go along with their skill set.

I'm not saying p&s shooter can't produce good images, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. An exaggerated example might be having F1 racing experience, then buying a sports car for everyday and really squeeze out the max performance of the sports car, while for others who never had to do racing for a living, they know the sports car can achieve great things, but when they drove it on the track the time is very different.

just my 2 cents.

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PDine Contributing Member • Posts: 579
Re: Is prior DSLR ownership needed to appreciate a NEX?

My personal opinion here:  having previously owned a (Canon) DSLR has only made me appreciate what is missing from the NEX interface (particularly on my low end NEX-C3, which doesnt have a lot of manual controls).  If you are moving to a NEX from a P&S camera, then you're not going to have been spoiled in that respect.  The NEX cameras have great image quality in a very compact package, but I personally (and I stress, it's just my opinion) don't think they handle as well as DSLRs.

EffWonPointToo
EffWonPointToo Regular Member • Posts: 135
Re: Is prior DSLR ownership needed to appreciate a NEX?

it's probably worth stating that in any context if you are hoping to move from a p&s to a CSC like the nex or other OR to a DSLR and you're just going to leave the camera in automatic modes all the time you will get SOME better pics than a p&s, but you should really be stepping up to these more controllable cameras so that you can take photos with more manual controls - and you should be resolved to learning how to do this.

hows that for a run-on sentence

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OP Larry251 Contributing Member • Posts: 632
Re: Is prior DSLR ownership needed to appreciate a NEX?

Makes some sense to me.  In my case, I came to a NEX from an advanced p&s and would have purchased a DSlR (and still may) but decided on the NEX instead for the size/weight benefit for those situations where I want to carry a minimal kit.  I never intended to shoot in auto mode and probably wouldn't have bought the NEX if that was my intention.

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FuzzyQball
FuzzyQball Senior Member • Posts: 1,632
Re: Is prior DSLR ownership needed to appreciate a NEX?

No

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Glenn

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iSurvivor
iSurvivor New Member • Posts: 18
Re: Is prior DSLR ownership needed to appreciate a NEX?

No but its a huge learning curve coming from a prior point and shoot user. There are so many variables outside of P or Intelligent mode. I've had for one month and still learning new things every day about it. Actually, I'm trying to use in manual to force myself to learn this camera. That being said, I absolutely love it!!

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zackiedawg
zackiedawg Forum Pro • Posts: 30,334
No...photographic knowledge can help get more out of it though...

I don't think previous DSLR ownership is necessary at all to appreciate the NEX, nor really any photographic knowledge at all.  Anyone willing to read up on how the camera works, what it can do, and learns about photography and how to set and control a camera properly can appreciate the NEX system.

What I do think is that having prior photographic knowledge and skill will help a person coming into the NEX system immediately move to a more advanced use of the camera, maximizing the performance and using more of the features and abilities.  Where a less skilled or knowledgeable person may not really know how to push the camera's limits, may not know about abilities or features, and therefore not really get the most out of the camera.

This is true of advanced shooters coming from P&S cameras, ultrazooms, other mirrorless cameras, or DSLRs alike.  It's not about having a DSLR, but about knowing how to expose, frame, compose, focus, and control a camera.  It's likely that at least for those on enthusiast boards like this one, many DSLR shooters have obtained some level of skill, and therefore your postulation is probably apropos...however in the greater scale of things it's likely many DSLR owners in the world are not skilled or knowledgeable - certainly a great number of DSLR owners are still shooting in Auto with a basic kit lens and no real understanding of how to set or control their cameras nor take advantage of the abilities of the larger sensor and speed/performance...so they would gain no more appreciation of a NEX system than an unskilled P&S user would, except possibly an appreciation of the smaller size.

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Alphamale77 Regular Member • Posts: 240
Re: Is prior DSLR ownership needed to appreciate a NEX?

have you played with the nex 7? that's a great piece of work, you can achieve manual one hand shooting, beating om5 and x1 in ease of use IMHO

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Alphamale77 Regular Member • Posts: 240
Re: Is prior DSLR ownership needed to appreciate a NEX?

EffWonPointToo wrote:

it's probably worth stating that in any context if you are hoping to move from a p&s to a CSC like the nex or other OR to a DSLR and you're just going to leave the camera in automatic modes all the time you will get SOME better pics than a p&s, but you should really be stepping up to these more controllable cameras so that you can take photos with more manual controls - and you should be resolved to learning how to do this.

hows that for a run-on sentence

take deep breath 

that's a very long sentence indeed

Yep, it's like how people say, luxury is always in the details, it's those little things you can fiddle with that beats the set menu standard outputs.

More adjustment doesn't mean better pic, but knowing there are more adjustments will definitely help to get the picture he/she wants. It's like getting more tools for the work.

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Alphamale77 Regular Member • Posts: 240
Re: Is prior DSLR ownership needed to appreciate a NEX?

Larry251 wrote:

Makes some sense to me. In my case, I came to a NEX from an advanced p&s and would have purchased a DSlR (and still may) but decided on the NEX instead for the size/weight benefit for those situations where I want to carry a minimal kit. I never intended to shoot in auto mode and probably wouldn't have bought the NEX if that was my intention.

I foresee DSLR for in your future path

Once you are comfortable shooting the nex then you would start to ask for more, e.g. weather seal, more iso, more shallow dof, faster pdaf, etc

glad you are not using auto, do dig in the menus more, and good luck shooting.

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OP Larry251 Contributing Member • Posts: 632
Re: No...photographic knowledge can help get more out of it though...

zackiedawg wrote:

It's not about having a DSLR, but about knowing how to expose, frame, compose, focus, and control a camera. It's likely that at least for those on enthusiast boards like this one, many DSLR shooters have obtained some level of skill, and therefore your postulation is probably apropos...however in the greater scale of things it's likely many DSLR owners in the world are not skilled or knowledgeable - certainly a great number of DSLR owners are still shooting in Auto with a basic kit lens and no real understanding of how to set or control their cameras nor take advantage of the abilities of the larger sensor and speed/performance...so they would gain no more appreciation of a NEX system than an unskilled P&S user would, except possibly an appreciation of the smaller size.

This is a good point. A bit off topic, but sometimes in the isolated environment of forums like this one it is easy to lose sight of the fact that the majority of people taking pictures probably don't understand basic photography principles or perhaps even care. When I see all of the people walking around with their DSLR equipment I sometimes forget that simply owning the equipment doesn't necessarily mean they know how to get use of it. Then when they take a picture of some building or object that is hundreds of feet away and use their flash, I wake up.

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Dan_168 Veteran Member • Posts: 8,484
It's the NEX 7 makes me appriciate my DSLR a lot more

I know i am in the NEX forum here so i do expect some flame but that's perfect fine with me. i am on the opposite side, a long time SLR user, about 20+ years since high school days, and currently shooting with 1D2, 1Ds2,1Ds3 D800E, also own a NEX7, after using the NEX 7 for a while for leisure i actually appreciate SLR A LOT more than before, i never even thought about it all these year but just keep on shooting with them, now i actually realize how much more comfortable working with a SLR than those little camera.

Alphamale77 Regular Member • Posts: 240
Re: Is prior DSLR ownership needed to appreciate a NEX?

Dan_168 wrote:

i am on the opposite, i am a long time SLR user and currently shooting with 1D2, 1Ds2,1Ds3 D800E, also own a NEX7, actually after using the NEX 7 for a while for leisure i appreciate SLR A LOT more than before, i never even thought about it all these time but just keep shooting with them, now i actually realize how much more comfortable working with a SLR than the little camera.

I agree, I never said nex would replace Dslr, i find it capable of shooting with 70-200g with the laea2 adapter, but then i still got the a77 cos its just more comfortable for a whole day worth of shooting, which is why i predict the OP will eventually get a DSLR/SLT or whatever they will be called.

I wish sony had a pro body with built in vertical grip or allowed 5:4 crop on camera, would be a delight for portrait session.

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Rooru S Contributing Member • Posts: 923
Re: Is prior DSLR ownership needed to appreciate a NEX?

Coming from P&S myself but I have used some APS-C DSLR (D3100 and a450) and the a850 from friends, and I like the OVF on the a850, but the difference between APS-C OVF and EVF is absolutely huge (brightness and size) and while the OVF in a FF camera is sometimes better than current EVF technology offered by Sony , the practical usage FOR ME (Talking just about me, don't know the others) is boosted by using an EVF. Having used the EVF on a99, is good enough, and sometimes it appears to be the same as a OVF (when you turn off the exposure compensation preview and leave it with only grids and S, A, Ev info.)
That's just about the EVF. About general usage, the first generation (NEX-3/5) was just good enough (usable at least), but got better with all the firmware that were made for those cameras (good enough to use some Canon FD/FL glass and Sony A-mount lenses). Now, I don't want to invest anymore on dSLR or SLT and instead, looking forward where Sony and other manufacturers are going with mirrorless. Good quantity of buttons and quick access modes now available is the way to go with mirrorless.

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